Return to the Parents of Infants Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Best and worst baby items

Posted by Zena (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 26, 03 at 17:05

Hello there!

My husband and I are expecting our first baby this summer, and we're preparing for the big arrival. I was wondering if all you parents would let me know what you have found/are finding the best and the worst baby items. Which things were a waste of money? Which things do you find essential?

I realise that everyone's situation is different, but nonetheless I thought it might be useful and interesting to hear about your experiences.

Thanks!

Zena.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Lots didn't like the diaper genie, but we did! But bear in mind you need to open it and figure it out before the post-partum hormones kick in or you'll probably end up very stressed! LOL

It really worked. There was no urine or poop smell ever in my nursery.

---------------

Baby monitors. For some reason, house layout, interference from other devices, etc. the first 3 monitors didn't work. We had saved the receipts so we could exchange. Number 4 worked great for us and we still use it to hear her if she has a bad dream or needs us for anything. So my best advice is to try them and if they don't seem to work, return them.

--------------
Waste of money, the expensive foam things to protect baby's head from fireplace hearths. My zero-cost solution; a quilt to cover the hearth, with some shipping foam under it.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Thanks! The diaper genie sounds good. I'll look into it. Luckily, we won't need a monitor at home, but we'll need one at Grandma and Grandpa's house, so thanks for that advice.

We don't have a hearth, so we won't be tempted to waste money on the head-protector hearth thingy!

Thanks again,

Zena.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

We had Diaper Genies and didn't like them. I just used Zip lock bags for the poopie diapers and the others didn't stink. I ziplock lots of stuff in the refrigerator and always made sure I "recycled" them by saving them for dirty diapers. I liked the ziplocks better than the diaper genies because I kept diapers in several rooms of the house and was able to keep the ziplocks everywhere also. If you are only going to change diapers at a changing table, then a Diaper Genie would be fine. We had a 2-story house with a basement and that was too many stairs for me to climb just to change diapers. Ziplocks are also handy to keep in the car, also.

Some of my likes were: a high chair on wheels with easily adjustible height, a car seat that reclined back slightly so that the child did not sit straight up (we had one of those and every time he fell asleep his head would fall forward), cup holder on the car seat, and exersaucer. Some new products have come out since mine were babies that I think would be great. One of these is the sticky plastic that you can put on restaurant table or high chairs. It sticks on like window clings so it peels off easily. We used to keep a rag soaked in alcohol in a ziplock so that we could clean off restaurant tables for finger food. These seem very sanitary and handy to me.

Wish I had bought the monitor with a video screen, not for safety reasons, though. We used to have a marvelous time listening to my kids play and talk to themselves in their room and often wished that we could see them also.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Dlynn,

I forGOT the Exersaucer!!! It was the most-used item of all. And it saw use with two more babies after my DD! And they loved it!

Excellent won't-regret-it item!!!

When DD Was older, they came out with flushable wipes. Wish they had been around when she was potty-training. She was about done when they came out. We still use them for making sure her bottom is nice and clean after #2.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Thanks to both of you!


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

I have four children. The oldest is 5 1/2. The youngest is 9 weeks.

Best $$ I ever spent:

baby sling baby carrier so you can push a shopping cart while nursing,
real nursing clothes from motherwear.com,
Peg Perego triple stroller for our stairstep kids,
non-sling baby carrier w/ waist/hip belt-- wayyyyy better than the Baby Bjorn once they're heavy,
doorway-style baby jumper (I like fisher price's much better than Graco's),
Fisher price battery-powered ocean-theme swing w/ mobile, lights, and sounds, (baby looooves it, so do we!),
a gazillion board books,
the fisher-price stay-in-view baby car seat-- with a webbing-type luggage-style handle instead of those huge plastic ones. You can carry it and still have both hands free.
Vibrating teether
baby food in jars (so very easy to make it, even w/ four kids!)

Worst $$ I ever spent, wish I'd never bothered:

Diaper genie (knotting old platic bags is cheaper and emptying that darn genie was soooo nasty!),
coth diapers (rash central, and gross),
a huge very expensive fancy high chair which was extremely hard to clean, took up tons of room, and plus, we never used all its fancy equipment. We gave it away and bought the cheapest Graco model--- just love it.
A fancy bassinett
A convertible crib (still using it and a second one as cribs.Paid a lot more for the option to turn it into a bed. Still waiting.)

Good luck! It's a blast!


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Like Zena, I have my own set of questions!

I too was wondering about the convertible crib - you have to figure they will get older sooner or later, so won't they need it eventually? Although some of those models look like prisons to me.

I went to Target tonight (where I'm thinking of registering) and looked at some stuff. I'm interested in one of these strollers that has a car seat and base that comes with it. I think the stroller acommodates up to 40 lbs while the infant car seat is 20. What would you recommend? Just the stroller (which is an option) or a car seat that the kid will outgrow in 7 months or so? I do like the idea of just picking him/her up and going, though, without having to move them while they're asleep.

I was also interested in the Avent breast pump. I know I want to at least try BFing and hopefully will be able to for a while - how many of you tried a pump and liked it? Avent also makes a bottle/food warmer, which I thought was interesting, although not essential. I wouldn't trust myself to heat it up.

Any more ideas? I'm doing my research!


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

DH and I decided against the convertable crib. We felt that after the baby outgrew the crib part, we would reassess our needs and buy something different at that time.

My oldest child just turned 3 so we bought most of our stuff 3 years ago. We bought the Graco stroller that came with a carseat and the base. So far both of my kids outgrew the car seat at around 4 months because of their length. A lot of people keep their kids in the seat longer and just go by the 20 # weight limit, but my kids have always been very strong for their age and would try to sit up in the seat so we switched the kids to an upright model at that time. It was still nice after that time to have the portable car seat for use in such places as the carts in grocery stores when the child was unable to fully sit up by himself. I always ended up carrying the extra car seat in the back of the car anyway.

I loved the stroller. Mine was great for taking the baby out on walks or if dh came along shopping, he would roll the baby around the store and I would push the cart. We used ours a lot so the wheels are getting really worn. I would definitely buy a good stroller. I can't stand the cheap little umbrella strollers because I fell like I'm haunched over trying to push. The only problem with a big stroller is that it takes up a lot of room in the car.

I have a Medula breast pump that the hospital gave me. It works great, but I only have the hand pump not the motorized one.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Hi Phyllis,

About the stroller/car seat issue... Obviously, I don't know anything about this from practical experience, but it does seem to be the case that for the first little while the small car seats especially for infants *are* safer than using convertible seats that can be used for newborns and older babies. The Graco Snugride gets the top ratings in Consumer Reports. So that's the car seat we got - although many, many people have complained that their babies grow out of it pretty quickly. So we just anticipate having to buy a new one after a few months.

Like you, I also like the idea of being able to lift the whole seat out of the car and onto a stroller. But I didn't like Graco's "travel systems" - too heavy for me to lift in and out of the trunk!! So I did some research and decided on a Combi "Perfect Match" stroller that can be used with a number of different brands of car seat. It weighs only 13lbs! It seems pretty standard to sell it on the web for almost $300, but Babyage.com have it for $150, which is where I bought it from. (I've also bought a play yard from them and I've been happy with the prices and service both times, so I recommend their site.)

How far along are you? Isn't it all exciting?! We're due next month now and I *was* feeling pretty organised, but now I'm feeling that there's SO much to do before the baby arrives! :o)


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

We still have six months to go (well, almost five). But DH is off for the summer so i want to have his input and get this stuff at least picked out by the end of August! I figure with as much stuff as there is out there it will probably take me until then. ; )

I see your point about some of the bigger carseats - they look HUGe and I can't imagine putting an infant in that! Someone reviewed the stroller I was looking into and said it was heavy, but it has an aluminum frame - that sounds light to me. But I noticed it did look pretty sturdy - so we could easily go walking around the neighborhood in it. We have a station wagon, so things are easier to unload than with an SUV that might be higher up. Hopefully the stroller wouldn't take up all the room in back! LOL

So far I'm not organized at all! And I know it will take me until then. The future room is a disaster and all the furniture (including confusing computer wiring) needs to be moved into the living room. Thankfully the hookup for it has just been installed so we can plug the thing in! I never realized how much stuff I already have...!

Ok, any other opinions about:

playpens
changing tables
cribs?
I go online to read reviews and find out the crib I want isn't sturdy or something - scary! Of course half the people are putting it together wrong. I guess the general consensus is that convertible cribs are a waste of $$?


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Too bad you don't live closer. I have a white jennylind I'm about ready to get rid of. (Kept it thinking we'd have another but haven't convinced DH yet LOL). I really liked mine -- didn't go overboard. We bought it at BabysRUs very reasonably. The best thing for cribs, since the matresses are usually vinyl to repel water, is the waterproof crib liners out of flannel. The best ones are at Target, and really are so much better than the rubber sheets of old days. They leave the crib so comfortable.

Changing table? Didn't use one. I just whipped out a changing pad wherever we were, and changed her. Our house is split level and rambling, so I wasn't going to tote her up to the nursery every time she needed a diaper.

Convertible cribs -- yes a waste. Here was our story: We had the crib and a twin bed. We figured when she moved out of the crib, she'd use the twin.

Actually, what happened was we got rid of the twin and got her a full size bed.

1) More roomy and she can grow into it.
2) Sick duty: When toddler has the flu and you want to sleep in with her to keep an eye on her, a toddler bed or twin won't cut it.

We felt the convertibles were a 'gadget' that would be a waste, and it turned out in our case that it would have been.

Can't believe how fast time is flying by! Five more months! Wow...a Halloween baby would be very cool!


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Phyllis - I liked my Avent pump very much. My neighbor is using it now and also likes it. It's only about $40 and well worth it.

All my other baby stuff was OK but not great, but since most of it was borrowed I can't complain.

The only thing I HATED was my high chair. I'm hoping to sell it at a tag sale this weekend. It wasn't on wheels and scratched up my floor and the seat didn't tilt back at all, so I couldn't start using it until the baby was able to sit up nicely on his own. If I have a 3rd - I'm getting a nice one!

AM


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Convertible crib: We got a Baby Italia convertible crib and, for the most part, have hated it. The drop side is so loud when it clicks into place - always wakes our little one up. If we had noticed that to begin with, I would have returned it - but when they are first born, you don't use the drop side. (At least we didn't.) Now our little one is 17 months old and ready for a toddler bed... So we converted it over. It is awful - ugly and, in my opinion, dangerous. There is nothing to cover over the screw holes from where the drop side went - this area is unfinished and shows up from clear across the room. My son is so fascinated with sticking his fingers in the holes - I am worried he will get a splinter or get his finger stuck. Then we needed a guardrail so he wouldn't roll out. Well, none of the guardrails are made for convertible cribs. We have to get the Baby Italia one. You have to order it. Eight to 10 weeks delivery. Yeah, if I knew 8-10 weeks ago that my child would be climbing out of his crib now, I would have ordered it then! We have also now noticed that when you use it as a headboard, again, there is nothing to 'finish off' the where the current hardware attaches - so more holes. $500 or whatever they charge and there is nothing to finish off the holes?! Ugly and stupid. We are writing the company and the consumer safety organization regarding this.

Strollers/Car seats: A lot of babies do grow out of the first car seats so soon that it would make financial sense to just start with the convertible car seat. However... It is so, so handy to leave the sleeping baby in the car seat and just pop that into the stroller and go. I do know many children who outgrew it in 4-5 months, but then there was our baby - born too early, very slow grower (still not on the growth charts at 17 months). He fit in his for almost a year. Doctors warned us about keeping him away from as many germs as possible (RSV season when he was released from hospital) and it was just real nice that we didn't have to put him in a shopping cart.
Buy a good stroller! When they outgrow the initial car seat, you will miss it so much at first. You are driving somewhere and they always fall asleep along the way - you get there and can't or don't want to wake them - so you put them in the stroller. I still use our stroller almost daily.
Umbrella strollers: Never, ever thought I would want one. However, I just flew alone with my son and it was so wonderful! You can take it clear to the airplane, then hang it up with the coats - Don't have to give it to someone at the gate for them to check, then worry about it and have to wait at the other end for them to find your stroller. Very much worth the $20 I spent for it, just for that flight alone.
Chest carriers: This is probably the one baby item I used the most. I am so sad that my son is now getting too long to fit easily in it and I have to give up using it. I bought the top-end Snugli. A friend bought the cheaper Snugli and hated it. I borrowed it from her before I bought mine and didn't like it, either. The more expensive one had a better, firmer, fit for us. Warning: Don't use a chest carrier when it is hot out. (Booklet should state this warning and recommended temps.)

Breast pumps: I had the Ameda Purely Yours. It was compatible with the hospital one - kit given to me at hospital fits into this one. We actually rented the hospital grade one for the first month, then purchased this one. Yes, it is $200 upfront, but that is so much cheaper than formula! You can pump both sides in 15 minutes. The hospital grade one is available for purchase, but it is almost $1,000. Comparing the two, the Purely Yours is a bit louder, but the - um - suction is just as good. Plus, you can also use batteries or run it off your car battery. We had to pump 7 weeks until our son was able to eat on his own - have never regretted spending the money on a good pump. (Plus, I later sold it for $100.)
http://ameda.com/products/py_collection.htm

Playpen: We have the Graco Pack 'n Play. Love it. Used it as a bassinet at first, then kept him sleeping in it in our room until just recently. (We have had a fair amount of health problems that we were just more comfortable having him in our room with us...) We still use it - safe place for baby while you are showering - and we always take it on trips with us - nice, as he is comfortable with 'his own, familiar bed' and I don't trust hotel cribs. It holds up to 30 pounds.

Toys: Look for things that have more than one use. For example, the V-Tech push/walk toy (3-in-1 Cruiser) we bought can later be converted into a ride-on toy and pull along wagon. Son has used this since last fall - still plays with it on a daily basis.

We didn't end up with a lot of the 'extra stuff' - son was premature and we hadn't bought much before hand, then afterwards was too overwhelmed with parenting a small child and paying off his hospital bills. If we saw a need for something along the way, we went out and bought it. I really think that helped us not waste money on the frills. ~ Suzie


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

My thoughts:

The very best carseats are Britax. They come with a fairly hefty price tag tho.

The very best breast pump is the Isis manual. I don't know from personal experience but I've heard over and over again at various parenting websites that this one is better than even most hospital grade electric pumps (and more comfy).

For a changing table we used a chest of drawers that was the right height for me and put a changing pad on top of it. One of those big foam thingys, I've seen them at Walmart and Meijer's. Basically when you don't need to change diapers anymore the changing table becomes useless. We still use the chest of drawers that was our changing table. Plus the drawers give you tons more storage that's easier to get at than the table.

If you can find someone to help you learn to use it properly a sling will become your best friend. They are discreet to nurse in, most babies love them and you will have 2 hands to do stuff again! They can be used in different positions as the baby gets older up til about 35 pounds. Many kids that age don't want to be carried anymore anyway.

Crib sheets - be absolutely sure your sheets fit your crib mattress properly. If they don't the corners can come undone and get wrapped around the baby.

A good camera - to capture all those "awww" moments.

A co-sleeper or Moses basket - especially if you are breastfeeding. Much easier to have the baby next to your bed in those first couple months than to drag your butt down the hall to the "nursery" in the middle of the night to feed the baby.

100% cotton stretch terry sleepers from Carter's - Normally I'm not a brand name type of gal but for these I am a maniac LOL! The poly ones are itchy and they get pilly fast (even on the inside) which just can't be comfortable for the baby.

Useless stuff I had for my son:

Exersaucer - Ds hated it. Passed it along to my niece who loved it. At least someone used it!
Swing - ditto above.
Pack and play - ditto above.
Baby monitor - our house was small enough that I could hear him before the damn monitor picked up any noises.
Jars of baby food - It's so much easier and healthier to just mash up fresh fruits and veggies
Hats - yes they are cute, but still fall under the useless catagory :-) Except for a warm winter hat of course.
puffy zip up baby buntings - hard as heck to get the baby into and they don't fit well with carseat straps.
What to Expect The First year book - just made me paranoid and didn't really have any helpful info. The peds book our doc recommendd was much better, I'll have to dig it up to give you the name.

The best thing you will need with a brand new baby is someone whose parenting style meshes with your own for support and to ask questions, a mothering mentor of sorts. And as much household help as you can get from friends and relatives. Mom's job is to take care of the baby, let everyone else take care of the housework. They grow and change so fast, blink and you'll miss something!

Karen


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

See, the funny thing is, the exersaucer was our best friend, and got passed along to two other new parents and got a lot of use. We cannot imagine NOT having it if we have another child.

But it's kind of like the diaper genie, We loved it and got loads of use out of it. Some of our other parent friends did too. But I hear from just as many people who thought they were the most useless thing they ever got. I think in the case of the diaper genie, and a few other contraptions, you need to read the manual and practice using it BEFORE baby comes. When you are sleep deprived and seriously hormonal after baby arrives, you cannot possibly expect yourself to read directions or put something together LOL

The swing is of limited value. They outgrow it so soon that the cost and the space it takes up isn't justified.

Nurseries and daycare centers like them because they get a new set of kids to use them when the last group outgrows them, so they get a return on the investment. For me, I think we used it for a full month. That was it. I recently loaned it to a new mom so at least I feel like it's getting SOME use.

We used the pack-n-play as a bassinet when she was little so she could stay in the room with us. Later, I think we took it on one trip with us. After that, when travelling, we just got hotel rooms with a king bed, and let her sleep with us in the middle. So I could swing either way on the pack-n-play. So-so useful.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

I think our neighbors have the pack and play. Or whatever that contraption is that has the bassinette, play yard and changing table in one. Now the kid is six months old and big for his age, so I don't see how he could even so much as roll over in that play yard without being smooshed up against the side. There's no room! Whatever happened to the big play pens they used to make? That's what I want - something my kid can move around in while I'm doing other things.

The neighbors also don't have a swing, and wish they had. Their son gets cranky and wants to be held and I think it would be nice to have something with motion to get him to sleep. Although they don't have the room for it. Maybe I could borrow one and try it out.

I'm still torn about the changing table - so many of them look really flimsy. It would probably be easier on my back but who knows. We bought a dresser but I want to put things on top of it, so there goes that idea.

Instead of a bassinette I thought about a cradle - a friend of my mom's used this with her son and it was darling. Bigger than the bassinette and looked nice like a real piece of furniture. And if it's a girl she can always put her dollies in it. : )


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

As for cranky baby who wants to be rocked...

The best thing I had was the little seat with built-in vibrator. I actually used it as a feeding chair, also. It was a great all-in-one and it was usable from day one until she was past 6 months old.

There is a link here that points to one similar to what I had. Very useful!

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to a seat like mine


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

We had that FP Kick and Play that TREKaren linked above. We got so much use out of it - however, my son could never reach the toy bar. I kept thinking it was because he was so small for his age, but then talked to a neighbor whose son is huge (+95%) and he couldn't reach it either! Very bad design. That said - We loved it and I would buy it again. Our son loved the flashing lights, music and the vibrator mode. Great so I could catch a quick shower. Also, he spit up so bad - major projectile - that we put him in this for naps.
Wanted to comment on something 3rdKitchen mentioned above - re: buntings and car seat straps. Buntings are NOT to be used with car seats. In fact, if you read the car seat manual, you will see that they always say not to use a bunting or any heavy coat. Car seats are tested with 'normal' clothed dummies. They are not tested for winter coats, buntings, blankets jammed underneath, etc. Any winter protection needs to be outside of the strap area. Also, all those 'cute' things they sell as 'padding' for car seat straps are NOT approved for use. In fact, there are a lot of car seat 'accessories' (mirrors, snack trays, etc.) that are not tested - most aren't even made by the car seat makers! If you are interested in knowing more about car seat safety, contact someone locally who has gone through the car seat safety courses - most local police departments now have someone certified, as do many hospitals, car dealers, insurance companies, etc.
Also, speaking of car seats - if you use a carrier-style infant car seat, please know that the handle must always be in the 'down' position while in the vehicle. ~ Suzie


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

I have a 3 month old and the things I would not live without are -
Cloth diapers -
Breastmilk - & Avent Pump/bottles -
Pacifier-
Baby Sling - http://www.taylormadetreasures.com
Britax Roundabout/Marathon Carseat - Absoutly love mine.
http://www.elitecarseats.com/britax-car-seats.htm
a boppy to prop her up when she needs a bit of tummy time.

Good Luck and Congratulations !!!

~~Dawn Mommie to Alexander 3yr & Lillianne 3 months


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

The worst item I bought was a changing table. I actually bought 2. One table, plus a pack and play with a changing table attachment. I think I've used them maybe 10 times. The are now both catch alls. I usually just change the baby on the couch or on my bed. The best item was a stroller with car seat. You just take the baby out of the car in the carrier and latch it onto the stroller and off you go. I love it. Mine was a Graco brand with a winnie the pooh theme.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

OK, your baby came already, but someone else might learn from your post about "best and worst baby items" on the "parents of infants" forum, so here goes:

a nursing pillow. Preferably easily portable.

I didn't like the Avent pump; I'm a Medela woman, through and through. I wouldn't spend money on anythign else. And I HATED the Avent nipples; I believe they caused nipple confusion for my son, which lowered my milk supply and meant nursing ended sooner than I wanted.

I liked my Pack 'n' Play.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

I hated the Avent bottles, too-- and definitely thought they caused nipple confusion!


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

I didn't use Avent because, at the time, they were reverse-threaded from all other bottles in the world. So if you bought, say, gerber juice bottles, or travel-formula, that you could screw your own nipple on, or some other thing like that, the Avent nipples would not work.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

I read they leaked but did not know about the nipple confusion. I just bought the breastpump today that contains two storage bottles but I suppose the nipples come separately - but you could use them as bottles, too. I bought the Playtex disposable nursers with the drop in liners. The starter set came with several nipples to choose from for different age ranges plus rubber or silicone.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Ohhhh!!! I LOVE this! Ok - things I sooo wish I would have known to buy and NOT to buy! I am pregnant with number 3 now and am still learning every day. But, here is what I have found out so far....

1) NEVER buy a travel system. They are very, very expensive and weigh, like 40 pounds!! Plus they are huge and awkward. Get a Graco carseat (it will fit in the DuoGlider later) and a "Snap N Go". It weighs about 9 pounds and has a huge basket, a place for your keys, drink holders... I think mine is a babytrend brand and was only $50. It folds easily, weighs nothing, and will stand up when locked.

2) When baby gets older get a NICE umbrella stoller (McLauren or so). I went through 2 cheapo's before I figured this one out.

3) When you have two kids you have to buy a DuoGlider. It will stand up when locked, isn't that heavy, and steers great!

4) DO NOT buy a swing that swings front to back. ALL of my kids (and my friends kids) ALWAYS prefer to rock side to side. Fisher Price makes one.

5) If you are going to have a C-Section and nurse I loved the "my Breast Friend Nursing pillow". It's super velcro kept the baby off of my stomach so I could nurse sitting up right after having the c-section. Also, you pretty much have hands free nursing and can type on your computer while baby nurses/sleeps. Loved it much better than my boppy.

6) A couple of GOOD quality nursing shirts from Motherwear.com

7) Quick change sheets for the crib. They are very soft cotton on top and waterproof on the bottom. It is just a rectangle that matches the size of the crib (it doesn't go around the mattress, just sits on top). It has 6 snaps so you just snap it around the crib rails. Then, you can change it sooooo easily! And, you won't ruin your mattress b/c it is waterproof when those accidents happen!

8) Glider Rocker - we have two. Dutailer? is the best, smoothest glide! So worth the extra money. My other rocker doesn't even compare.

9) Bouncy seat - both of mine had colic and vibrating was the only thing that soothed them! I wish it would have been able to fold down though. Hard to take on trips!

10) I agree with the above high chair comment. Don't buy an expensive one. A cheap one will be much better. Even better, a wooden one like you get at Penny's ($70). VERY easy to clean b/c junk doesn't get into the crevices of the pad and WET spills don't become gross smells.

11) Touch lamp in the nursery. I could touch just once for very low light for changing diapers in the middle of the night or nursing. 3 touches for story time! Also at JCPenneys.

12) SOUND MACHINE - white noise is the best, especially when #2 comes along and #1 is a very, very loud toddler.

13) If you find an awesome "blankie" (jersey knit or very soft with a sikly edge) buy TWO. I only made this mistake once! lol

14) DON'T buy the Baby Mozart,... videos. TV isn't good for children under two. They are $$$ and not good for babies eyes. Your child will not suffer and fall behind in school if he/she isn't exposed to these! lol!

15) If you are going to nurse, buy a good breastpump like a Medela (NOT an Evenflo,...). If you can't afford a good one then rent one. The cheap ones are REALLY bad for your breasts. I bought mine before the baby was due and was able to pump to relieve pressure when my milk first came in. I had lots of freezer milk from those two days that really came in handy later.

I am sure that there are so many more things! When I think of them I will post! I know that you have already had your baby and I am sure things are going well for you! Hopefully, other moms to be will read this too!

: )


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Ohhhh!!! I LOVE this! Ok - things I sooo wish I would have known to buy and NOT to buy! I am pregnant with number 3 now and am still learning every day. But, here is what I have found out so far....

1) NEVER buy a travel system. They are very, very expensive and weigh, like 40 pounds!! Plus they are huge and awkward. Get a Graco carseat (it will fit in the DuoGlider later) and a "Snap N Go". It weighs about 9 pounds and has a huge basket, a place for your keys, drink holders... I think mine is a babytrend brand and was only $50. It folds easily, weighs nothing, and will stand up when locked.

2) When baby gets older get a NICE umbrella stoller (McLauren or so). I went through 2 cheapo's before I figured this one out.

3) When you have two kids you have to buy a DuoGlider. It will stand up when locked, isn't that heavy, and steers great!

4) DO NOT buy a swing that swings front to back. ALL of my kids (and my friends kids) ALWAYS prefer to rock side to side. Fisher Price makes one.

5) If you are going to have a C-Section and nurse I loved the "my Breast Friend Nursing pillow". It's super velcro kept the baby off of my stomach so I could nurse sitting up right after having the c-section. Also, you pretty much have hands free nursing and can type on your computer while baby nurses/sleeps. Loved it much better than my boppy.

6) A couple of GOOD quality nursing shirts from Motherwear.com

7) Quick change sheets for the crib. They are very soft cotton on top and waterproof on the bottom. It is just a rectangle that matches the size of the crib (it doesn't go around the mattress, just sits on top). It has 6 snaps so you just snap it around the crib rails. Then, you can change it sooooo easily! And, you won't ruin your mattress b/c it is waterproof when those accidents happen!

8) Glider Rocker - we have two. Dutailer? is the best, smoothest glide! So worth the extra money. My other rocker doesn't even compare.

9) Bouncy seat - both of mine had colic and vibrating was the only thing that soothed them! I wish it would have been able to fold down though. Hard to take on trips!

10) I agree with the above high chair comment. Don't buy an expensive one. A cheap one will be much better. Even better, a wooden one like you get at Penny's ($70). VERY easy to clean b/c junk doesn't get into the crevices of the pad and WET spills don't become gross smells.

11) Touch lamp in the nursery. I could touch just once for very low light for changing diapers in the middle of the night or nursing. 3 touches for story time! Also at JCPenneys.

12) SOUND MACHINE - white noise is the best, especially when #2 comes along and #1 is a very, very loud toddler.

13) If you find an awesome "blankie" (jersey knit or very soft with a sikly edge) buy TWO. I only made this mistake once! lol

14) DON'T buy the Baby Mozart,... videos. TV isn't good for children under two. They are $$$ and not good for babies eyes. Your child will not suffer and fall behind in school if he/she isn't exposed to these! lol!

15) If you are going to nurse, buy a good breastpump like a Medela (NOT an Evenflo,...). If you can't afford a good one then rent one. The cheap ones are REALLY bad for your breasts. I bought mine before the baby was due and was able to pump to relieve pressure when my milk first came in. I had lots of freezer milk from those two days that really came in handy later.

I am sure that there are so many more things! When I think of them I will post! I know that you have already had your baby and I am sure things are going well for you! Hopefully, other moms to be will read this too!

: )


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

I received a Diaper Genie at my shower also (not on my registry) and didn't like it. The replacement cartridges are $5 each for a glorified trash bag and they had a weird perfumy scent (for perfumy poop?). I just had a small trash can that I put those plastic grocery store bags in. Quick to tie up and cheap!

I also never used the changing table for changing. I always put my daughter on the bed, floor, or her crib with a big changing pad. I did get 6 covered Sterelite plastic containers to put socks, washcloths, bibs, etc in. Three across on each shelf of the changing table fit perfectly and no big mess to straighten.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

See I loved my diaper genie. It reduced the number of times I had to empty, and I never smelled a urin-ey smell in the room (or poop). I have to go down two flights of stairs to take garbage out, so for me it was a godsend.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Now that my baby is born I'm getting to try out all this new stuff! Things I really like are:

Avent Breast Pump: I don't know that I agree that cheap breast pumps are "bad" for your breasts; it depends on what you want to use it for. For occasional bottle feeding when you're going to be away from the baby or are engorged, the Avent is great and very easy to use. The bottles attach at the bottom so you can express and then attach the nipple and feed. So far we haven't had any leaking with the Avent bottles either, which some people say they have. I guess I'm lucky because my son didn't get nipple confusion from the bottles, either.

Graco Pack n PLay - We set this up in our room and put baby here for naps and overnight, usually. When he's near me I can usually get to him before he wakes up fully and starts in full swing cry mode! Also the bassinet part snaps in on top and sort of rocks from side to side if you move it, which soothes the baby making him think we're rocking him! Added bonus!

Boppy pillow: So far, so good. It depends on where I'm sitting and how comfortable I can get. Sometimes I prefer two bed pillows, sometimes the Boppy. The only downside is I wish it had a handle, because with a baby in one arm it can be very hard to pick up!

I bought the Diaper Champ pail instead of the Diaper Genie. I use scented trash bags that I can get at Walmart for next to nothing. Since my baby is breastfed his poop doesn't stink yet, but I haven't really noticed an odor from pee or anything. It does fill up fast, but then changing the diaper pail more frequently probably isn't a bad thing, especially when they go on solid foods.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Congratulations- what an exciting time for you and your hubby !
I'm not an expert, but here are my thoughts ( I have a 7 year old and 7 month old):
Best: stationary entertainment center (Exersaucer, etc), Baby Bjorn baby carrier, Sassy Toys, Euro bath, diaper wipes warmer (yes, sounds crazy, but is more comfortable for your little one during those night changes!), baby bundlers ( looks like a little sack that gathers at the bottom- again, great when you are changing all those diapers), Mustela baby products, OXO brand covered ice cube tray ( if you are making homemade baby food),Robeez baby shoes, Halo sleepsacks. I can't say I have too many Worst items, luckily. Good luck and
take care =)


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

I am soon to be a first time Grandma. An OB nurse, friend of ours recommended getting a double Medela breast pump that she saw on E-Bay. She said it's the kind her hospital rents to patients. We got it. Now my daughter has read on the manufacurer's web site that it's dangerous to use a "used" pump because bacteria can grow around the motor and it can't be sterilized. She feels she has wasted her money, and now she doesn't want to use the pump. The nurse says they just want to sell pumps, and there isn't a basis for this.
Has anyone heard of this and what was said to do? Anyone encountered a problem with used pumps. We would be getting new tubes and cups, isn't that enough?
Thanks for any help. Daughter is due next month.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

My "baby" is now over two, so I can post from a little experience now.

Our best baby items have been:

Cloth diapers - a real money saver, and I don't mind washing them. The ones we use also have good resale value (Fuzzi Bunz).

Baby Bjorn - we used this a lot in the beginning, but it's true that baby grows out of it quickly. We've used other carriers and pouches since, but the names escape me right now.

Board books, especially black and white ones by Tana Hoban - baby loved black and white books right from the beginning, and he still loves books of all kinds.

Our worst baby items:

Playpen - baby hated it, and we never really saw the point of it. If the phone rings or there's someone at the door, either bring your baby with you or ignore the phone/door.

Pacifiers/bottles/pump: baby refused to take a pacifier or a bottle, so these were all a waste of money for us (not saying they would be to another family).

Crib - baby would only sleep next to me, so we've had various arrangements - none of which involved baby sleeping in the crib!

In general, I would say that this mad rush to get "everything ready" for the baby is a mistake, which is to the advantage of the "baby products" industry. Babies differ so much that you can't know in advance what your baby is going to like or not. Don't buy swings, playpens etc etc because your baby might hate them. There's no hurry. Get a car seat, some diapers, a few clothes, a baby carrier and somewhere cheap (but safe) for the baby to sleep, if you're not convinced in advance of the benefits of co-sleeping with your baby. If you co-sleep, you won't even have to buy a separate sleeping place. I think pretty much everything else can wait, especially if you know you're going to have some help (grandparents etc) around after the birth who can go shopping for you if necessary.

And one more invaluable thing is the phone number of a friendly lactation consultant for when you have problems with breastfeeding.

I hope this thread helps some people save some money and have a nicer time with their newborns!

Zena.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

I have the Bellini convertible crib for my 6 month old. He keeps getting his legs caught b/t the rails.

I also have the Bellini changing table. I'm 5'1" and it is simply too high.

I shouldn't complain too much since these were gifts from my MIL. It just wasn't worth the money.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Worst thing I ever bought was the Evenflo breats pump... I went through 3 of them in a matter of a couple months... Don't ask why I kept buying the same one over again.. Then someone gave me the Medela Pump in Style.. $250 job.. That has worked for the last 10 mos like a dream.
Favorite thing I bought was a baby backpack. Charlie is going to be a year old this month and still loves it!


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Hi, I am due in 10 weeks (June 30, 2006) and I am looking for your advise as to what I need prior to the arrival of the baby (this is my first):
Needed - yes or no (and if yes recommended type/brand)
Breast pump? recommended type?
Bottles?
Diaper bag?
Baby sling?
Car Seat - what kind is recommended based upon saftey?
Stroller? if so what kind is recommended?
What else do I need immediately?


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Hi Brionesa,

Congratulations!

Every family is different, but here's what I think about the stuff you were asking about:
Breast pump? recommended type?
Bottles?

My son would have nothing to do with bottles (or pacifiers) so I'm glad we didn't waste money on an expensive breast pump. But if you absolutely need one (if you'll be going back to work, say) then I hope someone else will chime in with their recommendation. It sounds like a good idea to borrow one first though, bc different ones seem to work for different people. Maybe your local hospital can loan you one? Make sure you have the phone number of a lactation consultant before you leave the hospital (if your baby's going to be born at a hospital). It's really nice to have someone you can call if/when you run into breastfeeding problems. I've heard about lots of people getting bad advice from well-meaning grandparents, friends, even pediatricians....

Diaper bag?

Anything comfortable for you that your husband is also willing to carry. (Probably rules out Winnie the Pooh designs etc. ;o) Don't spend too much on it. I used a back pack one that I got as a present, and I really liked having it on my back, so I had both hands free to carry my baby, buckle straps etc etc.

Baby sling?

We loved the Baby Bjorn in the beginning, but it's true that it doesn't last long, especially if you have puny upper body strength like me. I think my favourite overall is the Kozy Carrier. It is comfy (for baby and parent) infinitely adjustable and looks beautiful. If you can manage it, you should try to borrow some and try them out and see what you think. Different parents and babies have different preferences. My son *hated* a regular sling bc he couldn't see out. As soon as he was born he wanted to be looking around...

Car Seat - what kind is recommended based upon saftey?

A couple years ago, it was Graco Snug Ride for infants. I don't know any more. Have you checked on Consumer Reports?

Stroller? if so what kind is recommended?

Again, my son hated the stroller. (We had a tough babyhood! ;o) Now he loves it though. We have a Combi lightweight stroller that is easy to haul in and out of the trunk. Which stroller you get really depends on what you will be using it for. If you'll be pounding the streets in your neighbourhood regularly, you'll need something rugged and tough - and it won't matter if it's heavy. But if you'll need to take it in and out of the car often, you'll want something light - and believe me a lot of them weigh a ton. I wish I had something more rugged since I do most of my walking around home, not after driving in the car. But the Combi is great for something light, and it's holding up well - I use it a lot, with a now-almost-three-year-old in it.

What else do I need immediately?

Diapers, a few clothes (you'll probably get lots as gifts, if you don't already have them). A summer baby won't need much more than some onesies in the beginning. Lots of healthy frozen meals in the freezer. Someone who will go grocery shopping for you. Really, my advice is to not get a lot of stuff. Do your research now so you'll know which bouncy seat etc to get *if you want one*, but you might just find you don't want/need that stuff. Hang on to your money!

Good luck! Enjoy the ride!

Zena.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kozy Carrier


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

CONGRATULATIONS!! My little guy just turned 1 (my first). Here's what I found:
Breast pump - I have a battery/electric single pump by The First Years - got it at walmart for $50CDN - LOVED IT!! When my milk came in and I felt like I would explode I just pumped the excess off and froze it. (It was convenient enough that I could feed and pump at the same time...which made pumping easier as I was already having natural let down because of baby.) I also used it to increase milk supply, feeding on one side and pumping on the other (and freezing). I had to feed a little more frequently to get the supply up, but once it was in I always had lots available. It was also nice to know that if I ever had to go on meds that there was a supply of milk ready for him if I couldn't nurse. (He's naturally weaning himself now...probably another couple months and I will be done.

Bottles - I bought two I think. He only ended up using them once or twice for the pumped milk...he didn't really take on it because he had to work harder for the bottle than on the breast.

Diaper bag - Whatever you like...think small. A diaper bag that will hold 2 dozen diapers, six changes of clothes and a weeks supply of formula just isn't needed for shopping trips, and are just cumbersome when you're trying to carry baby and push a cart/get in/out of the car/etc.

Baby sling - we got ours used at Once Upon A Child - it was nice but inexpensive. Babies get heavy fast...don't spend a bundle on one if you don't have to, because you'll likely find you don't use it for as long as you might hope.

Car Seat - We got a 3 in 1 from Toys-R-Us. LOVE IT. It's easy to use, and it's strapped into the car...(DH didn't trust the latch systems on the carrier types...though I've never actually heard of any problems with them.) The big plus for me was that he'll be able to use it until he doesn't need one any more...no buying 2 or 3 carseats for each kid...This is one item that's definately worth buying new. (Peace of mind knowing that it's never been dropped, and is structurally sound.)

Stroller - Got ours secondhand. It does the trick and the price was right...I've hear that the 3 wheel jogging strollers are really nice to push on gravel, etc.

What else do I need immediately? Not as much as you think. ; ) All your little one really needs is a secure place to sleep, a clean dry bum, food, and your love. OH and Zincofax and Vaseline...just a tip...when you have your little bundle...give his/her bum a generous coating of vaseline with every change (it cost's practically nothing but it will keep that tar-y meconium stool - the black first poos - from sticking to that tender little skin.) And Zincofax is a cure all - put a healthy coating of it on at the first signs of diaper rash, also works (in small quantities) for teething rash, and is awesome if you get dry hands/exzema from all the hand washing. After diaper changing, wash up and then work in a film of it. Works great.

Keep us posted!!
Verena


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

I'm bumping this up because I feel there is a lot of good info here. My "baby" is 30, but I sure still do remember the things we liked.

Changing table was really helpful, as was the doorway jumper thing (don't know if they are still made), soft blanket with satin edge. I also had a baby food mill to mash up food so we didn't have to buy the jarred stuff too much. Seemed my babies liked stuffed animals with good faces, obvious eyes and mouth.

That's all that comes to mind right now.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Best, least expensive playtime toys for toddlers....

Indoors - big sturdy cardboard boxes, pots and pans, one of those semi-large rubber exercise balls with or without the handle, a tablecloth (packing/movers blankets are great too) and some chairs to make a tent, blocks.

Outside - hammock chair swing on a swivel for twirling each other around, tire swing (or ANY swing for that matter),
sandbox, kiddy pool or garden tubs full of water, wagon.

In my experience, kids have amazing imaginations and don't need much to keep them occupied. Keep it simple.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

This thread is still here, and my "baby" is now 6! And I have a second who is 2.

One thing I would add from the second time around is a Moby Wrap. It's extremely comfortable and versatile - from newborn to toddler. It's tricky to get the hang of at first, so you need to be patient, but once you do, it's fantastic. I didn't use the Baby Bjorn at all the second time around because the Moby Wrap was so much more comfortable. I could even use it for skin-to-skin snuggling at home. And I could continue to use it long into toddlerhood because it spreads the weight so well - over your whole back, not just your shoulders.

Like I said before, I would recommend sticking to the basics before the baby is born - some diapers, some clothes, a car seat, a carrier, and somewhere for the baby to sleep. And that's it!

Do some research before the baby is born so that if/when you decide you need a stroller/bouncy seat/swing, you know what's available. It's hard to know exactly what all your needs will be until you start your life with your baby. It's certainly harder to shop with a baby in tow, so if you won't have help after the baby is born, this might not work, but for everyone else - save your money and *wait* to find out what you want/need. That's my 2 cents. :o)


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

I would definitely say one of those baby jumpers that hang in a doorway - my nieces and nephews LOVED them.

In reading the replies to your post, it seems that there are mixed reviews on a Diaper Genie. I got my friend one as her shower gift, and she still tells me how great it is 19 months later.

I would not spend a ton of money on high-priced baby clothes; there are so many cute options that don't break the bank.

By now, I am sure your little one has arrived.


 o
RE: Best and worst baby items

Congratulations!!!
Hope both you are well...
There are many website who famous for selling online baby products, I personally use Cutebabybuy website. There are many products for new born babies. once you visit you surely like that website.

Thanks. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: baby products online


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Parents of Infants Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here